Funders Together Bulletin Masthead
Editor: Allison Silva                                                                                                      December 20, 2012                                                                                
Board of Directors
David Wertheimer  
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle, WA 
Leslie Strnisha
Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH 
Deborah Fung
Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation
Boston, MA 


Tom Nurmi
William S. Abell Foundation
Chevy Chase, MD 


Ann Woodward
Melville Charitable Trust
Boston, MA 


Nancy Barrand
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, NJ 


Sonya Campion
Campion Foundation
Seattle, WA 


Nancy Frees Fountain
The Frees Foundation
Houston, TX 


Barbara (Bobbie) Ibarra

Miami Coalition for the Homeless  

Miami, FL  


Bill Pitkin
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Los Angeles, CA 


Debbie Reznick
Polk Bros. Foundation
Chicago, IL 


Martha Toll
Butler Family Fund
Washington, D.C.  


Joe Weisbord
Fannie Mae
New York, NY 

Support Funders Together      
Funders Together is supported by generous grants from several of our member foundations. We encourage members to make a donation or a grant to help support our mission and services.

Funders Together is a 
 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 
To make a donation, contact Allison Silva at

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Melville Trust @MelvilleTrust

Moving beyond a Safety Net to a Safety Trampoline - well-said! ED Anne Miskey  


Season's greetings and happy New Year from Funders Together!

> Funders Together receives generous individual donations 

Funders Together welcomes our new program assistant



>Funders Together board chair David Wertheimer 

blogs about our 2012 accomplishments

> Our members will speak at the Florida Philanthropic Network's summit

> Funders Together Executive Director Anne Miskey blogs about the 

catalytic power of funders networks and systems change



>Funders Together Los Angeles blogs about their healthcare and homelessness convening 

> Update on activities from Funders Together Houston 



>Putting a Home at the Center of Efforts to End Homelessness

> Housing our Homeless Veterans

> Recovering from Hurricane Sandy: How you can help

Melville Charitable Trust blogs about their unique, 

hands-on approach to community development

>Gates Foundation to host National Conference on Ending Family 

and Youth Homelessness reception

>United Way of Greater LA releases Home for Good year 2, quarter 3 report



> A Canadian Perspective on Ending Homelessness

> Funders: Invest in Change, Spend on Impact

> HUD reports slight decline in homelessness

> Lost Angels: Skid Row is My Home premieres in LA theater

>2013 PIT count focuses on youth for the first time


The latest useful tools and resources on homelessness


Details about upcoming conferences, webinars, and funders-only calls
Special Announcementsspecial
Season's Greetings and Happy New Year from Funders Together
We can't thank you enough for all that you do to ensure that you are supporting programs and engaging in strategies that effectively and efficiently prevent and end homelessness. We wish you, and your family and friends, a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year! We also pause to remember those facing a difficult winter, and remain firm in our resolve that together we can end homelessness. 
We want to take this opportunity to say that we will be thinking of everyone affected by the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary. Our hearts go out to all of you and we wish you a peaceful holiday season and new year. 

Funders Together Thanks Contributors to the Cause
Funders Together thanks Ann Woodward and Deborah Fung for their generous donations to Funders Together. Click here to find out how your organization can support Funders Together. 
Funders Together Welcomes Our New Program Assistant
Bevin ShagouryWe are delighted to announce the addition of Bevin Shagoury to our staff. Bevin's role as program assistant at Funders Together draws upon her experiences as Administrative Manager for the DreamTree Project of Taos, New Mexico, a non-profit organization providing stability, support, and resources to homeless and at-risk youth and their families. 


In addition to developing policy and procedure to strengthen emergency, transitional, and community-based housing, Bevin has facilitated homelessness-specific staff trainings, organized events promoting community engagement, and served as the editor of youth homelessness outreach materials, newsletters, and federal grant proposals.

News from Funders Together newsfromfteh

Reflecting on 2012, Looking Ahead to 2013: A Blog by Board Chair, David Wertheimer
Before we bid farewell to 2012, all of us at Funders Together wanted to pause for a moment to share with you the highlights of what has been an extraordinarily productive year of activity for our small but mighty staff and our dedicated board. Hang on to the sleigh for a moment as we go dashing through the snow of the past year's accomplishments! 

Florida Philanthropic Network 2013 Statewide Summit Features Speakers from Funders Together 
Funders Together will be participating in the upcoming Florida Philanthropic Network 2013 Statewide Summit on Philanthropy: What is Philanthropy's Leadership Opportunity?  The summit will take place in Orlando from January 31-February 1. 


FTEH members Kollin Min, program officer of the Pacific Northwest U.S. Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA; Deborah Fung, executive director of the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation in Boston, MA; and Bobbie Ibarra, executive director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless in Miami, FL will be discussing philanthropy's role in creating cross-sector collaborations--specifically those with local, state and federal governments--around the issue of homelessness.  They will provide practical examples of how they work collaboratively on the local, state, and federal levels to leverage government funding and help advocate for effective and efficient use of government resources.


Also on the panel will be Ana Marie Argilagos, deputy assistant secretary of the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who will offer the government's perspective on the important role philanthropy plays in creating effective outcomes at the community and national levels by leading collaborations between sectors and by working closely with government leaders.


Read more

Magnifying the Power of Philanthropy: Building a Funders Network: A Blog by Executive Director Anne Miskey
At a recent conference on ending homelessness, a presenter from a national organization made the comment that Funders Together Houston, a local funders network, had been a "game-changer" in that community. By coming together, public and private funders in Houston had changed the conversation around supporting vulnerable individuals and families and were working to create a system-not just individual programs or agencies-that was both effective and efficient in ending homelessness and building stability for the most vulnerable in their city.

Moving Beyond the Safety Net to the Safety Trampoline: A Blog by Executive Director Anne Miskey 

Many homeless programs were developed to respond to emergencies, providing a safety net for people in crisis.  People living on the streets with no place to sleep or to get a meal needed something now, to get them through today, tomorrow, and perhaps next week.  The response from communities-government, faith groups, providers, and funders-was compassionate and well meaning, but it was not asolution.


The problem we now face is that the short-term crisis response has become entrenched in many communities as the de-facto homeless system-with programs, agencies, and facilities all built to respond to crisis, but not to solve the long-term community-wide problem of homelessness.  And, with the exception of a few communities, most of these homeless services are still largely delivered through loosely related programs and agencies, not organized as a system with a common set of goals and practices.

News from Our Regional Funders Networks newsfromregional

Los Angeles Funders Group Hosts Healthcare and Homelessness Convening

On November 2nd the Los Angeles Homeless Funders Group, a regional affiliate of Funders Together to End Homelessness, hosted the Integrating Healthcare and Housing for Homelessness People convening in Downtown Los Angeles where speakers touched on opportunities to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. Approximately 100 leaders from public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors gathered at the to exchange ideas, experiences and strategies to better align health and housing resources for the benefit of homeless persons in Los Angeles County. More information and conference materials can be found at Integrating Healthcare and Housing.

FTEH board member, Bill Pitkin, director of domestic programs at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation blogged about the convening. 

Update on Activities from Funders Together Houston 

Funders Together Houston's general meeting in November included a discussion of the cost-savings and successes in preventing and ending homelessness stemming from innovative collaborative programs implemented by the Houston Police Department (HPD) and other organizations such as the MHMRA of Harris County to support people with mental illness and to prevent and end homelessness. Successes resulting from the programs are related to decreases in hospitalization, recurring incarceration, and housing those experiencing homelessness. The Simmons Foundation and the Frees Foundation, both members of Funders Together Houston, recently jointly supported HPD's Homeless Outreach Team


In January 2013, Funders Together Executive Director Anne Miskey will participate in the general meeting and present FTEH's strategic direction for the coming year. 


To read more about Funders Together Houston's activities, check out their newsletter.

News from Our Members newsfrommembers

Putting a Home at the Center of Efforts to End Homelessness

In her commentary piece for Philanthropy News Digest, Melville Charitable Trust Executive Director Janice Elliott says "we have seen the difference that investments in proven, lasting, and cost-effective solutions have made and are more convinced than ever that the problem of homelessness can be solved." 

Read more


Housing Our Homeless Veterans

Tom Nurmi, Vietnam War veteran and board member of Funders Together, blogs about veterans homelessness. He characterizes it as "an ongoing, deeply rooted, and formidable challenge." But he also offers a solution: "What does work is stable housing with effective support services. We also need to move to a more holistic approach to the needs of veterans, and an integrated delivery system that incorporates the myriad public and private agencies that are trying to help vulnerable veterans."

          Read more


Recovering from Hurricane Sandy: How You Can Help

Hurricane Sandy devastated the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, leaving many people displaced and homeless and many homeless service and housing providers in need of assistance. Funders Together board member, Joe Weisbord, director of foreclosure prevention at Fannie Mae, offers some ways to help:


I want to highlight the needs of Project Hospitality. They are the only homeless service and supportive housing provider on Staten Island. They lost power for days at most their shelters, their supply warehouse was flooded and its contents destroyed and they have taken in an unprecedented number of people--many highly vulnerable due to age and disability--in response to those displaced by the storm.


Other key providers that had extraordinary expenditures for additional staff, supplies, and facility damage include, the Center for Urban Community Services and the Westside Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing. Additionally, the Supportive Housing Network posted a list of some nonprofits that need help defraying these extraordinary costs:


For more information on ways you can help, contact Allison at 


The Melville Charitable Trust Blogs About their Unique Hands-on Approach to Community Development

Funders Together board member Ann Woodward of the Melville Charitable Trust blogs about their unique hands-on approach to community development in the Frog Hollow neighborhood of Hartford, Connecticut, a community that has long suffered from lack of opportunity and disinvestment. Here's an excerpt from her blog post:


Our first purchase in 2003 was the Lyceum, a historic building that serves as a base for conferences, educational programs, and the exchange of ideas aimed at creating stronger communities. The Partnership for Strong Communities, a Connecticut-based nonprofit housing advocacy group founded by the Trust works from and manages the Lyceum. Subsequent Trust neighborhood investments have resulted in over 100 renovated units of affordable and mixed-income housing, the startup of nonprofit Billings Forge Community Works and the creation of the fine dining restaurant Firebox

Read more


Gates Foundation Hosts National Conference for Family and Youth Homelessness Reception

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Funders Together member and proud sponsor of the National Alliance to End Homelessness' 2013 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, is hosting the reception for conference attendees. The deadline to register for the reception is Thursday, February 14, or until the maximum number of attendees have registered. We strongly encourages anyone who wishes to attend to register as soon as possible. After you register, please email to find out about events specifically geared towards funders, which are taking place during the conference. 


For further details about registration, see registration rates. 

For further details about the reception, see the conference agenda


Home For Good Year 2, Quarter 3 Report Released

In 2010, Funders Together member, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and the LA Chamber of Commerce launched Home for Good, an Action Plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness in LA County by 2016. They recently released the year two, quarter three report announcing that 2,319 chronically homeless individuals and 985 non-chronic veterans have been housed. 


Read the full report:Year 2, Quarter 3

Tell us your Story! Do you have news that you'd like to share with other funders about your work in homelessness? Funding an innovative project? Looking to leverage funding? Your news could appear on our blog or in our bulletin. To share your news, contact Allison Silva

 A Canadian Perspective on Ending Homelessness

What does an end to homelessness look like? The city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada is on the road to finding out. Calgary is in the fifth year of its 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, which is administered by the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF). Calgary is the first city in Canada to establish a 10 Year Plan. Calgary's goal is that by January 2018, no one will have to spend more than one week sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter before moving into a safe, decent, affordable home with the support needed to sustain it.



Funders Invest in Change: Spend on Impact 

Homeless and housing programs are growing up. Thank goodness. We are seeing a retrenchment of individual projects touting their self-proclaimed best practices, and an emerging era of systems-based approaches, based upon evidence, that actually work at ending homelessness.


Part of this stems from the early adopters and risk takers that radically decided to help the right homeless person/family get to the right program at the right time to end their homelessness instead of each program thinking they had to be all things to all people. Part of it stems from the HEARTH Act, which squarely places a systems-based lens into how homeless and housing programs are organized.

Read more

HUD Reports Slight Decline in Homelessness

On a single night last January, 633,782 people were homeless in the United States, largely unchanged from the year before.  In releasing HUD's latest national estimate of homelessness, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan cited as hopeful that even during a historic housing and economic downturn, local communities are reporting significant declines in the number of homeless veterans and those experiencing long-term chronic homelessness. Read HUD's 2012 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, including community-level data

Read more

Lost Angels Premieres in Los Angeles Theater

On December 7, Lost Angels: Skid Row is My Home premiered at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood. The documentary film, which was sponsored in part by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, The Frees Foundation, and Funders Together, takes an uncompromising yet life-affirming look at the lives of eight remarkable individuals, people who have found a way to make a life for themselves within the community of homelessness.  The film shows how their descent into society's basement has been exacerbated by the forces of gentrification and the increasing criminalization of homeless people, while exposing the draconian changes to the mental health care system that have brought us here. 


With the support of a vast array of advocates, especially the services of LAMP, the mission featured in the Jamie Foxx/ Robert Downey Jr. film, THE SOLOIST, many residents of Skid Row have found a way to stick together and fight back. Narrated by actress Catherine Keener, LOST ANGELS demonstrates how proactive approaches to homelessness--most specifically that of providing housing--are helping many to recover from mental illness and substance abuse and to find stability. For many, Skid Row is, improbably, the last place to find refuge and build a life of meaning, proving that sometimes home is where the help is. 




For screening or interviews, contact Beth Portello at


2013 PIT Count Focuses on Youth for the First Time 

This year, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education (ED), launched Youth Count!, an interagency initiative to develop promising strategies for counting unaccompanied homeless youth, up to 24-years-old, through innovative implementations of HUD's 2013 Point-in-Time (PIT) count. The Youth Count! Initiative was developed per a recommendation from the framework for ending youth homelessness. Nine cities were selected to pilot this initiative and the results of their efforts will be evaluated, published, and shared. 
Funders Together is privileged to partner with USICH, HUD, HHS and ED to support this initiative by linking philanthropy to the effort. Federal funding does not cover the evaluation portion of Youth Count!, which meant that private funders needed to step in to cover these costs. Funders Together helped to identify funders able to subsidize the costs associated with evaluating the youth PIT counts in each of the nine cities. Evaluation will ensure that the effectiveness and efficiency of each count are reviewed and that best practices are shared throughout the nation. This information will help to take this pilot initiative to scale nationwide. 
The following nine diverse and dynamic communities are participating in the Youth Count! initiative:


Boston, MA                                       New York City, NY
Cleveland, OH                                  King County, WA
Hennepin County, MN                    Washington State
Houston, TX                                      Winston-Salem, NC
Los Angeles, CA

For information on how you can support this initiative, contact Anne Miskey at   


Resource Centerresource

A Round Up of 2013 Point In Time Count Resources

This January, volunteers in cities across the nation will walk through their communities to do a one-night count of their homeless population who live in shelters and on the street. Results of the 2012 Point-In-Time (PIT) Count, show a slight decline in homelessness, including a seven percent drop in homelessness among veterans and those experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has prepared instructions, guidance, webinars, and more to help you gather data and get an accurate count of people experiencing homelessness in your community. Check out HUD's materials here. Information specific to youth and veteran homelessness is below. 


To volunteer for your community's 2013 PIT Count, reach out to your local Continuum of Care contact



The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released 2013 Housing Inventory Count and Point-in-Time Count of Homeless Persons: Data Collection Guidancewhich will help communities plan and implement their 2013 counts of people experiencing homelessness. In the document, HUD outlines changes to the 2013 point-in-time (PIT) count such as the requirement that Continuums of Care (CoCs) report on the number of youth under the age of 18, and youth 18 to 24. CoCs will also be required to report on the number of female veterans. HUD encourages CoCs and staff to use this guide as a reference to ensure all required data is captured. 



The National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to to serve as a significant resource on homeless veterans and the programs that assist them. The Center has provided the following resources to help prepare for the 2013 housing inventory and point-in-time counts. 

Veteran Homelessness: A Supplemental Report to the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress

Prevalence and Risk of Homelessness among U.S. Veterans: A Multisite Investigation

 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR)

 Data on Homeless Veterans

 GTO Manual: Getting To Outcomes® in Services for Homeless Veterans


Webinar Recording: SSVF for New and Existing Grantees

The Alliance has published on its website a recording of a webinar, "SSVF for New and Existing Grantees," that originally streamed on Wednesday, December 12. Speakers in the webinar looked at the application process for grants under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program and discussed rapid re-housing basics. Speakers also provided advice on program design and gave pointers for creating an effective application.

Watch the video


Webinar Recording: Asset Building and Financial Literacy

The Alliance has published on its website a recording of a webinar that originally streamed on Wednesday, December 5, "Asset Building and Financial Literacy for Populations Experiencing Homelessness." In the webinar, speakers described efforts by communities in Louisville, KY, and Seattle to integrate asset building and financial literacy components into their homeless service delivery systems.


Save the Datessavedates

National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness

Hosted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness

February 21-22, 2012 |Seattle, WA, Sheraton Hotel Seattle

Times are still tough! The economic downturn swept through this country and upended many lives, pushing families into homelessness and leaving many others at the brink. Poverty among children and youth remains near the highest level since 1993.  While a recovery may be underway for many, for the poorest and most vulnerable American families there is much to be done. 


Big things are happening. New tools are in place. There are new ways of thinking about and addressing the problem.  And the need for effectiveness couldn't be greater. The National Alliance to End Homelessness invites everyone involved to come together in Seattle in February, to be part of the 2013 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, to learn, to share, and to encourage each other to take the next steps.


Register here


 CONNECT           SHARE            BUILD 

Promote Effective Solutions to Homelessness. 

Join Funders Together Today!


Through Funders Together, you can connect with other funders like you, share lessons learned and promising practices, and help build the movement to end homelessness in America. Your voice can help make the difference in your community and across the country.

Contact Allison Silva, member services and development officer, at with any questions about membership. 
                                                           Edited by Allison Silva